Sport England’s This Girl Can returns to screens today to inspire more women across the country to get active - and it’s an empowering watch
Ready to be inspired? Sport England’s new This Girl Can advert has arrived and it’s a must-watch for anyone who’s struggled to find a way to make workouts work for them.
With its predecessor having racked up a staggering 97 million views, the empowering campaign has helped women up and down the country get active and overcome their fear of judgement when it comes to exercise. Its message? “It’s OK to sweat, it’s OK to jiggle, it’s OK not to be brilliant (or to be brilliant!) and it’s normal for life to get in the way sometimes.”
What can you expect from the new advert? Set to a soundtrack of Maya Angelou reciting her renowned poem, ‘Phenomenal Woman’ (fittingly from her book called, ‘And Still I Rise’), it stars a range of inspiring individuals all discovered in the places where they like to exercise. Take Bisi for example, an athletics enthusiast in her teens who found work stopped her workouts in their tracks as she got older. Giving a gym trial a go on a whim, she’s now a regular in the weights room and has gone from leg lifting 20kg when she started to an awe-inspiring 140kg now. “Don’t be intimidated” she advises if worried about being the only female in the room. Other motivating women include 15-year-old trampolinist, Cerys McIntosh, and 69-year-old outdoor swimmer Sue Bairstow alongside the return of Alice (“I’m knackered”) and Grace (“Slow but I’m lapping everyone on the couch”) from the original campaign.
How does this next chapter differ from the first? “A new message this time is something women don’t usually hear: it’s OK to take a break, to have a week off, to walk not run,” says Sport England CEO, Jennie Price. “No-one is saying this to us. Few magazines say it; sports brands don’t say it.
“Many of the women we’ve featured talk about stopping, then starting again. It can feel like the hardest thing in the world to return after a few weeks off, when you fear you’ve lost ground or fitness, but we want to surface this as a discussion point, to say it’s normal to take a break, but that needn’t stop you for good.’’
Making great strides to help reduce the exercise gender gap, its aim to help normalise sport and taking breaks and highlight common fitness fears is one which we’re sure will be incredibly motivating to women everywhere. With an even bigger emphasis on inclusivity - especially regarding age and exercise during various life changes such as pregnancy, menopause and post-natal stages, it serves as a great way to encourage a feeling of community in the fitness world. “This Girl Can has made a real difference since it launched, with the number of women doing regular physical activity and sport now at an all-time high. But there’s a lot more to do” says Jennie Price. “Our research showed the dialogue many of us have in our heads about whether we look OK, whether we are good enough, whether we belong here doesn’t go away - we just learn to manage it. That’s why the reinforcement of seeing women who look like us playing sport and talking honestly about how they feel about it is so powerful.”
Do you have fitness fear? Check out some of This Girl Can’s top tips for overcoming your workout worries here .